Every dog has his day. So why shouldn’t every dog have his own festival? If we humans have a place to walk around and eat fattening foods while enjoying the sights and sounds of outdoor activities, it’s only fitting that our canine companions should do the same and enjoy their own treat. So, get out there! There are scores of dog festivals across the U.S. In fact, many of them are tied to charitable events to raise money and awareness about pet adoptions and other great causes. I have searched around the country and found some dog festivals that are sure to keep your pooch’s tail wagging year after year.
- Once a year, pets and the people who love them gather at Park City’s Willow Creek Park for a family 5-K9 Fun Run through a local neighbourhood. Prizes are awarded for first, second and third place runners, with separate categories for men and for women who run with or without their furry friends. Don’t want to run? No worries. The sponsors, friends of animals Utah, will still allow you to participate in the day by walking in the 1K (0.62-mile) stroll. Any type of dog, regardless of breed, size or shape, can participate in this annual event. Additionally, there are activities like dog derbies, musical sit (a take-off of the popular children’s game musical chairs), a trick contest and a frisbee toss. Also, any dog that thinks he’s Rin Tin can try his or her paw at the Course A’Lure, where dogs race over obstacles while chasing a lure. And for owners who are frequently told they look like their dogs, the look-a-like contest will be right up their alley. This free event even includes a pancake breakfast. And of course, all money raised is for the pups.
- “Because You’re Worth It” a popular a tagline in L’Oréal TV commercials. Now it takes on a whole new meaning when pooches and their owners gather for “Because Your Dog is Worth it Too” Day in the Garden state. The event is held in August to coincide with National Homeless Animals Day. It is said more than 5,000 people and their pets come out to support this event, which benefits the Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure of Central and South Jersey. In addition to raising money for the Komen’s Foundation, the day honours two L’Oréal employees who lost their lives to breast cancer. Organizers have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years at the festival, which is held at the cosmetic company’s facility in Cranbury, N.J. Events like a bulldog race, a dog high jump contest, a puppy limbo contest, a costume contest and a parade make this a must-do event in New Jersey.
- The north-western corner of the United States is where you’ll find the Go Dog, Go! Canine Festival & Dog Walk. Held during July in Juanita Beach Park, Kirkland, this family-friendly event celebrates man’s best friend with a day of activities for everyone in the family. Events include a dog walk, a canine agility course, food vendors, microchip services, games, contests and live music. Exhibitors are also on hand to teach pet owners about healthy food for their dogs and canine safety. And best of all, there are opportunities to adopt a new pet. A highlight of this free day is the 2-mile (3.2-kilometer) dog walk along the beautiful shores of Lake Washington. However, there is a fee to participate in the walk because it raises money for the pet waste stations in Kirkland’s city parks. Festival officials welcome well-behaved dogs that are at least 6 months old and on a short leash.